Little Women: Real Life Friedrich
Susan Cheever writes in American Bloomsbury that every-time when Alcott´s moved back to Concord, Louisa would find herself loving Henry more and more every time when they returned. Louisa loved very masculine men. She writes in her journals that she loves soldiers and uniforms. She writes in her journals that Henry is the perfect man and there is a quote where she compares Henry to Napoleon and her friend Emerson to Goethe.
In Little Women Friedrich is Jo´s sexual awakening. He is written to be more masculine and more mature than Laurie. He has a beard, big hands, deep voice. In Little Men, the narrator even says that Jo loves very ”manly” men. There is some criticism over guys who are thin and more effeminate. Like Laurie and Nat. In Jo´s boys there actually quite many scenes where Jo and Friedrich are kissing and there is also a scene where they are making out. They are about to do the dirty and their sons come in and interrupt them. I am actually surprised that Louisa got away with that. It is pretty fair to say that Louisa wanted someone on her side who could feed and stimulate her brain. Henry wasn´t a great looker but there was something about him because he had quite a few female admirers in Concord. Louisa was attracted to him but the most important aspect of that relationship was their similar interests and the intellectual connection that they had and they did spend a lot of one-on-one time together. She would visit him at his hut at Walden´s Pond. They took long nature walks, and he would often take her on boat trips. I have said this before and I say it again, the age difference between them was the same as between Jo and Friedrich, 16 years. Henry passed away when Louisa was 27.
Rest of her life with Ladislas Wisniewksi (real-life Laurie), and other men and women who she encountered. She never found them to be even remotely as intellectually stimulating as Henry was. In Little Women Jo confesses to Friedrich that, he is her first love, and therefore the best. Something I found very interesting in my Thoreau research, was that Henry and the whole Thoreau family, they had a reputation that they despised gossip and supported individualism. This is something that Louisa admired. You can read from their journals that both Henry and Louisa often felt like outsiders. Very similar to Jo and Friedrich who are connected by their feelings of outsiderness.
Check out the full video essay ”Love and Sex in Little Women” https://youtu.be/mzuK9xH54KQ
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